Danehill colt set for starring role
It could take $3 million to purchase a Danehill colt in Friday's Piaget International Sale following yesterday's breeze-up session at a sodden Sha Tin, said Hong Kong Jockey Club director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.
Danehill, a dual-hemisphere stallion, has five of his progeny in the auction which for the second year running takes place on the fifth floor of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre - the most original venue for a horse auction in the world.
Engelbrecht-Bresges' particular Danehill fancy is out of the Nebbiolo mare Sedra, who was Group Two placed. He cost the Club IR170,000 - or some $2,290,000 - at the Goffs Orby Sale. 'He looked a little bit lazy but is a lovely individual. He's my idea of the Sale topper. I'd like to think he'd make $3 million,' said Engelbrecht-Bresges.
The Danehill colt was breezed yesterday by none other than former English jump jockey and publican Colin Brown, who for many years rode the flying grey Desert Orchid - the best-loved jumper since the legendary Arkle.
Yesterday's breeze-up was well attended by prospective buyers with trainers such as Ivan Allan, Tony Cruz, Lawrie Fownes, David Hayes, David Hill and Wong Tang-ping among those monitoring the work closely.
But one notable absentee was the French-bred youngster by Woodman who was meant to be lot six on Friday night, but had to be withdrawn after it was found he was not a gelding after all. The withdrawal doesn't quite echo the furore which accompanied the pioneering Select Sale of six seasons ago when there were at least four rigs (horses with one testicle not distended).
Engelbrecht-Bresges explained: 'When we tested him his testosterone levels were far above those expected from a gelding. He was gelded in France and obviously the operation was only partly successful.'
The Woodman will be returned to France and the Club is understood to be seeking to recover the $890,000 purchase price.